“Real athletes are runners, other just play games”

March 29, 2010

I love this quote…I think it’s amazing. Running is one of the best and hardest things you can do to your body. It pushes me like nothing else. I am an exercise addict. I will run, swim, lift weights, bike, elliptical and do any kickboxing, pilates, spinning or strength class you put in front of me. I KNOW how to push myself. But nothing is as difficult as running. No exercise I’ve ever done can compare to the amazing body benefits, the high, or the challenge.

Having said all of those good things…I hate to run. No, I do! I have always been of the mindset that people who claim to “LOVE to workout” are either a) lying their asses off OR b) clinically insane. No one loves to workout. You think you do? You don’t…you just love the FEELING you have when you are done. Sure, sometimes I can squeeze out a few happy smiles in the middle of a particularly good run, but those are immediately wiped off my face in another few miles by the sheer pain and exhaustion of it all. And about once in every run I feel like I am going to die. Truly. Somehow I push past that point and when I finish I am hugely proud, tired and happy. That is what I love and what I suspect you love too – though you probably think it’s cool to brag that you ADORE working out, causing others to feel inferior or angry that they too don’t adore it. 😉

Kris and I on Oahu

While I am usually very consistent with exercising, I eat terribly unhealthy food. A lifetime lover of junk food, fast food, pizza and pasta, I’ve always been able to eat what I like when I like it, as long as I am working out hard. That’s changed over the last few years. I guess packing on some pounds is pretty common in your 30s and I’ve noticed it takes much more effort to maintain my weight now. I have always claimed that the sole reason I work out is to be able to eat the way that I want. Now even that isn’t enough.

Running buddies!

I was in the best shape of my life in Hawaii, but ever since leaving things have gone downhill! I think my “shape” fell into the ocean along with the volcanoes. Moving to Argentina with the scrumptious pastas and medialunas didn’t help. We tried to maintain some kind of exercise routine while there, but fell short. It wasn’t nearly as conducive to running. The weather was fickle and we were in an enormous city. There were many parks but they were often only one city block so you end up feeling like a hamster in a wheel, circling the same block 20 times just to make 4 miles. Instead we would end up drinking yet another cup of coffee or having wine with lunch instead of working out. Whoops!

Finisher! BA Marathon

I did manage to run the Buenos Aires marathon while there (it was early in our stay, thank goodness!). I never believed I could actually run a marathon…now I believe anyone can. There were little old men passing me the entire time! It was a crazy experience…your body starts to do some very strange things. Your mind begins wandering to this slightly insane place and you slowly realize your thoughts are not making sense, similar to right before you fall asleep, but you are wide awake and running. It’s common to get the shakes at some point during the race which cause you to break out in a cold, clammy sweat. My knee began hurting at only the 4th mile and I just let it hurt…what else can you do when you have 22 miles to go? My goal was to finish without walking once and under 4:30, which I did, just barely.

Marathon supplies!

After the marathon Joe and I had to walk 13 blocks to get a cab home. That was interesting. I was dragging my legs like they were both asleep! Ironically though, I wasn’t very sore the next day. It seems my legs had become accustomed to the abuse!

Now I have begun training for my next marathon, in late April. This is a lofty goal as I am getting a late start. I’m not completely sure I can do it without injury. I have a mere 8 weeks to get up to 22 miles. And attempting to train here in cold Kentucky is most frustrating! I am not used to running in such low temperatures. It’s also amusing because people look at you as if you are two-headed if you are running this town. I guess there aren’t a whole lot of dedicated outdoor runners here? I get the strangest stares…

If any of my runners out there have tips, encouragement or suggestions for me, bring it ON! I need all of the support and help I can get! If I don’t make my deadline I will try for another marathon in May or June, which would be more reasonable and probably more likely. And if you are thinking of running a marathon, or hey – just running any distance at all…do it! You will be so happy you did. AFTER you finish your run, mind you.


2 Responses to ““Real athletes are runners, other just play games””

  1. Dan Anderson said

    From the time you were born until the day you die your heart is allocated just so many beats. You can spend those beats living and loving or you can spend those beats exercising. Years ago I recognized that the time I spent exercising is time I could have spent eating, watching women talk, lying on the couch watching TV, playing with toothpicks or responding to things posted on the Internet. So I got my ass in gear and stopped that wasteful exercise. Then I went to the Dairy Queen to begin my repentance.


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